The Associated Press
April 29, 2008 - 5:14pm

Israeli defense officials say an amnesty program meant to get Palestinian militants to surrender their weapons has been a success.

Under last year's program, Israel offered to stop hunting down dozens of West Bank militants if they agreed to halt violent activities. The men are required to surrender their weapons, serve a brief sentence in a Palestinian jail and pass a probationary term.

A senior Israeli security official says 281 gunmen accepted the offer. He says just six have returned to violence.

The offer applied only to members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas'
Fatah movement. The official said Tuesday there are no plans to extend the offer to Hamas or other Islamic militant groups.


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